Review by Ulysses Dietz
Member of The Paranormal Guild Review Team
B.G. Thomas knows how to work a romance in the best way. In a series called “Small Town Dreams,” this epitomizes both the author’s goal and his skill as a writer. Writing in this genre takes a gift with words, because you can’t just tell a story: you have to trigger emotions in your reader.
Jason Evander Brewster is a 25-year-old gay man living in a tiny town in Kansas. His twin sister Daphne lives there, too, as do his parents. They’re a close family. Jason is a bookworm and a nerd. He runs a used bookstore-cum-diner called the Briar Patch, and he’s happy. Mostly.
But he’s lonely, too, since gay life in tiny-town America doesn’t offer much in the way of gay companionship.
Then a mysterious stranger moves into the little house behind Jason. Adam Terranova is gorgeous, and foreign. He claims to be from Rome, but we know better. Jason doesn’t give it much thought, because Adam is the most romantic creature Jason has ever seen.
And Adam seems to think the same thing of Jason.
In a less gifted writer’s hands, this story could be both saccharine and stupid. It is pretty sugary anyway, but Thomas gets us into both Jason and Adam’s heads in such a smart, thoughtful way, that we really are getting life-lessons. We fall in love with these two young men even as they are smitten with each other. Adam is running away from a place he loves because of his unhappiness, while Jason is stuck in a kind of happiness that is imperfect, but more than good enough.
There are no huge hurdles here, just the inner hurdles one must leap to achieve one’s goals. Habit and fear of the unknown stand in the way of true happiness sometimes, and they can be as hard to handle as stone walls and iron bars.
There is no real paranormal story here, just the hint of something beyond the everyday, a hint of ancient gods and goddesses and the extraordinary power of love. I was very sorry to see this book end, and only wish that Thomas could have spun it out into something bigger.